Tagarchief: CEO

Tips van Cyberclick: the happiest company of the world

Blog van Corporate Rebels over hun bezoek aan David Tomás van Cyberclick, entrepeneur en auteur van het boek “The happiest company of the world”, april 2016.

Practical happiness tips from our Bucket List visit to Spain

It’s one of those days that begins perfectly. You wake up, take a look out of the window and your senses are cheerfully greeted with a beautiful blue sky. You feel the comforting Mediterranean breeze touch your skin and witness the rising sun beaming down on the glistening rooftops. You open the windows and hear the locals set up shop in the street below. We enjoy this awakening and decide to put on some upbeat music while we get ready for the day ahead of us. By the time we leave the apartment, we are in the perfect state of mind, ready to take on Barcelona’s bustling streets.

As the rest of the city wakes up, we wander in search of a bocadillo de jamon and a freshly brewed double espresso. As we’re in Spain, we’re in search of the most basic looking bar as they are usually the ones that serve the best local food. The weather is too beautiful to stay inside, so we take our sandwich and coffee to go while we discuss the day ahead of us.

Meeting David Tomás

Once again, there’s a list of inspiring people we’re about to meet on this beautiful day. One of them is our Bucket List hero David Tomás. David is a Spanish serial entrepreneur and start-up mentor. He is also the author of the book ‘The happiest company in the world’; written like a novel, but with practical tips for creating happy companies. We’re meeting David at Cyberclick; his online advertising and direct marketing company. The company is located in the WTC right in the middle of the port in Barcelona. The office has a 180 degree panoramic view on the port where yachts and seagulls pass by regularly.

After we introduce ourselves, David tells us he recognizes his own story in ours. Just like us, he started working as an engineer after obtaining his engineering degree. After 2.5 years, he was fed up with the way things were organized and decided to quit his job. He then started his company Cyberclick and focused on working in a radically different way; a happier way. Along the way their mission statement has been crafted and now reads: “creating the happiest company in the world”. To ensure it’s not just a fuzzy, cool sounding phrase, they have implemented some practical techniques. Here’s a few of them.

An extraordinary recruitment process

To ensure that all employees are a perfect fit for the organization, Cyberclick has a radically different recruitment process. Just like all companies in Barcelona, Cyberclick has a vast amount of job applicants. But like no other company in Barcelona, they have a special way of treating them. Here’s a quick overview:

  • They call more than 100 job applicants for an interview by phone
  • Only 3 or 4 of these are invited for a visit to the company
  • They are tested by the team and the direct colleagues on: skills, personality, and behavior
  • Multiple reference calls are made to previous employers
  • Once selected, the applicant starts working for 3 weeks
  • After 3 weeks, the team evaluates the new employee. They have a strong focus on the new employee’s alignment with the company values. Every team member can use a veto during the evaluation
  • After 3 months, there’s another evaluation with a similar process
  • Once the employee has successfully passed all stages, he has a decision to make. He can choose to (1) take the job, or (2) not take the job and receive a 2-month bonus on top of the salary for the time worked (Up till now 30 employees had the chance to take the bonus. So far, nobody took it.)

Literally reinventing the way we work

There’s a long list that shows this is not a company like many others. As there’s so much to share, for now we listed the most notable differences with traditional organizations. In later blogs, we’ll come back to the practical implications of some of these innovative features.

Here’s some of the radically different approaches of Cyberclick:

  • The values of the company are determined by the employees themselves.
  • Once a week the teams preform a stand-up in which everyone has to give an example of how they experienced one of the values during that week.
  • All employees can work wherever they want.
  • All employees can work whenever they want.
  • The employees and the teams decide everything themselves. There are no bosses, managers or supervisors.
  • David’s role is therefore minimized to inspire the organization and to challenge them to look for new possibilities. He stresses this with the quote: “I actually don’t work”.
  • Every employee sets his or her own goals. The company goals are derived from these and have to be aligned with the personal goals. (Quite the opposite of what happens in traditional organization)
  • There’s no maximum amount of holidays. Holidays are not even tracked.
  • When targets are reached, there’s always a celebration.
  • Every employee gets his own training budget and can spend it on whatever he/she likes. Even for scuba diving or surfing. Cyberclick beliefs that as long as it’s good for personal development, it’s good for the company. To underline this, David refers to the following quote:


  • There are books that every employee has to read. An example is “Crucial conversations”.
  • Every 3 months they have a book session. Every employee reads the same book and they discuss the book together during this session.
  • Everyone has to spend some hours per week using their skills to support a non governmental organization (NGO). There’s a special focus on NGO’s that focus on the local community.
  • They measure their happiness through a short daily survey. This used to be anonymous, but the employees changed this because of the high amounts of trust. The scores are discussed on a weekly basis.
  • If a very unhappy score shows up, it will be discussed immediately. Only once the problem is solved, they continue with their work.
  • They work in small teams. David believes that 8-16 persons is ideal.
  • They work with ‘Open book management‘. Everyone gets a training in basic financials so they understand the basics of the financials of the company. There’s complete transparency on this.
  • They have a profit sharing program. Above a certain profit margin, the profit gets divided among the employees.

In search for tapas

Once again we’re inspired by one of our Bucket List heroes, David Tomas. But we’re even more inspired by the fact that there are already companies that show that work can be organized (very successfully) in a radically different way. We realize this once we leave the building and are being welcomed once again by the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

In search for some tasty tapas, we reflect on the visit and prepare ourselves for our visit to another company that is challenging the status quo: Infojobs.

Bron: klik hier


Waarom medewerkers de ceo niet vertrouwen en hoe je dit verandert

Artikel van Tijmen de Groen in Management Team april 2016. Met 7 verbeterstappen van pr-onderzoeksbedrijf Edelmann. Stap 1: Denk op dezelfde manier na over klanten en medewerkers.

Waarom medewerkers de ceo niet vertrouwen en hoe je dit verandert

Een derde van de medewerkers heeft geen vertrouwen in hun ceo. Waarom medewerkers jou als baas niet vertrouwen en hoe je dat kunt verbeteren.

Niet alleen heeft één op de drie medewerkers te weinig vertrouwen in hun baas volgens dit wereldwijde onderzoek van pr-onderzoeksbedrijf Edelman. Ook blijkt dat tweederde van het personeel vindt dat de ceo van hun bedrijf de verkeerde keuzes maakt en te veel focust op de korte termijn.


Om een bedrijf te vertrouwen gaan potentiële klanten het meeste uit van de ‘gewone’ medewerkers. Dat is slecht nieuws voor bedrijven aangezien slechts 65 procent van die laag het bedrijf vertrouwt waarvoor ze werken. Hoe lager de positie van een medewerker in een bedrijf, hoe lager dat getal is. Met als dieptepunt een vertrouwen van 48 procent in de eigen onderneming door de ‘gewone’ medewerkers. Juist die onderste laag van medewerkers heeft het meeste vertrouwen van de buitenwereld. Nog meer dan de ceo, blijkt uit het onderzoek, vertrouwen potentiële klanten de ‘gewone’ medewerkers van je onderneming.

Christopher Hannegan, verantwoordelijk voor de medewerkers betrokkenheid afdeling van Edelman: “Consumenten vertrouwen bedrijven die hun medewerkers goed behandelen, bedrijven die open en transparant zijn. Ondernemingen met een duidelijk ethische aanpak. Net zo duidelijk is dat medewerkers de personen zijn waar klanten het meeste in geloven.”



Om het vertrouwen van je medewerkers te verbeteren zijn volgens de onderzoekers deze 7 stappen nodig:

1. Denk op dezelfde manier na over klanten en medewerkers. Zorg voor een gelijkwaardige benadering van klanten en medewerkers en de rest van de buitenwereld.

2. Je medewerkers moeten zich bewust zijn van de positieve impact die je onderneming heeft op de wereld. Ondersteun ze daarin of ondersteun de managers om een breder bewustzijn te creëren dat je onderneming niet als enige doel heeft om winst te maken.

3. Geef je medewerkers meer informatie dan alleen de strategie. Ga terug naar de why van je onderneming en leg ze die uit. Ontwikkel een geheugensteuntje voor je medewerkers om dat verhaal te onthouden en – regelmatig – te vertellen.

4. Ga op zoek naar anekdotes binnen je bedrijf over de impact die je hebt gehad. Zo maak je de stap van een abstract idee naar een leuk verhaal om naar te luisteren. Maak die verhalen niet anoniem, vertel trots dat een bepaalde medewerker die stappen heeft gezet om van de wereld een betere plek te maken.

5. Nu het verhaal af is en aangekleed is met voorbeelden maak je het geheel interactief. Gebruik een intern platform om ondersteunend materiaal – filmpjes, foto’s, artikelen – te verdelen onder je medewerkers. Motiveer vervolgens diezelfde medewerkers om de verhalen naar buiten te brengen en die voorbeelden mee te sturen.

6. Kijk regelmatig naar de impact van je verandering. Luister naar medewerkers en pas de ideeën die je opdoet toe, binnen je organisatie.

7. Geef je communicatie-team de ondersteuning om je nieuwbakken ideeën door te voeren. Daarbij is het belangrijk om te realiseren dat dit een heel andere taak kan zijn dan wat ze voorheen deden. Dat kan dus een personeelsverandering met zich meebrengen.

De infographic die de onderzoekers maakten over de conclusies:

Bron:klik hier

Lees ook:

5 Ways to build a culture of caring

Waarom creëren van eigenaarschap niet lukt en hoe het wel kan

Hoe maak je een mission statement that ‘does not sucks 

Sturen op empathie in je team: 6 tips

CEO Chobani yogurt geeft deel van bedrijf aan werknemers

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: The founder of the Chobani yogurt empire, who started with nothing as an immigrant to the US, surprised his employees today by giving back to them in a very big way: “This community and this country has been so great to us, and I’d like to return that favor…”

Lees hier het artikel uit de New York Times van Stephanie Strom op 26 april 2016:

At Chobani, Now It’s Not Just the Yogurt That’s Rich

NEW BERLIN, N.Y. — The 2,000 full-time employees of the yogurt company Chobani were handed quite the surprise on Tuesday: an ownership stake that could make some of them millionaires.

Hamdi Ulukaya, the Turkish immigrant who founded Chobani in 2005, told workers at the company’s plant here in upstate New York that he would be giving them shares worth up to 10 percent of the company when it goes public or is sold.

The goal, he said, is to pass along the wealth they have helped build in the decade since the company started. Chobani is now widely considered to be worth several billion dollars.

“I’ve built something I never thought would be such a success, but I cannot think of Chobani being built without all these people,” Mr. Ulukaya said in an interview in his Manhattan office that was granted on the condition that no details of the program would be disclosed before the announcement.

“Now they’ll be working to build the company even more and building their future at the same time,” he said.

Chobani employees received the news on Tuesday morning. Each worker received a white packet; inside was information about how many Chobani shares they were given. The number of shares given to each person is based on tenure, so the longer an employee has been at the company, the bigger the stake.

Two years ago, when Chobani received a loan from TPG Capital, a private equity firm, the company’s value was estimated at $3 billion to $5 billion. At the $3 billion valuation, the average employee payout would be $150,000. The earliest employees, though, will most likely be given many more shares, possibly worth over $1 million.

Rich Lake, lead project manager, was one of the original group of five employees Mr. Ulukaya hired for the plant in New Berlin. Mr. Lake said on Tuesday that he did not expect Chobani shares to change his life much. “I’m not one for living outside my means,” he said.

Rather, he said, the shares are an acknowledgment of what he and the other employees have put into Chobani.

“It’s better than a bonus or a raise,” Mr. Lake said. “It’s the best thing because you’re getting a piece of this thing you helped build.”

“It’s better than a bonus or a raise,” said Rich Lake, an employee at Chobani. “It’s the best thing because you’re getting a piece of this thing you helped build.” Credit Alexandra Hootnick for The New York Times
The transfer of money by Mr. Ulukaya touches on a hot-button economic issue: the rapidly expanding gap in pay between executives and average workers. The United States has one of the widest pay gaps, and the topic has played a prominent role in this year’s presidential race, particularly among the Democrats.

Some other executives have also taken this issue on themselves. A founder of Gravity Payments, a Seattle-based credit-card payment processing firm, last year promised to pay a minimum wage of $70,000 to his 120-person staff within three years.

The shares given to Chobani employees are coming directly from Mr. Ulukaya. The shares can be sold if the company goes public or is bought by another business, neither of which seems imminent. Employees can hang onto the shares if they leave or retire, or the company will buy them back.

The unusual announcement comes before TPG Capital, whose $750 million loan helped bail out Chobani, can buy a stake in the company. Tension between Mr. Ulukaya and TPG about the direction of the company emerged shortly after the loan deal.

TPG has warrants to buy 20 percent or more of Chobani’s shares, depending on targets set in the original deal it struck. But that percentage would now be calculated from the 90 percent of the remaining shares, after the 10 percent given to the employees, essentially diluting TPG’s potential stake.

TPG declined to comment on Tuesday.

In addition, a year ago Mr. Ulukaya settled a lawsuit with his ex-wife, who had sought a stake in the company. The terms of the settlement were not released.

This sort of transfer of shares to employees is rare in the food industry. In one of the few notable examples, Bob Moore, the founder of Bob’s Red Mill, a grains and cereals company, handed control of the company to its employees in 2010 with the creation of an employee stock ownership program.

Technology start-ups often pay employees partly in shares to help recruit them or to compete in a company’s early days for in-demand workers. Early employees of Google and Facebook became overnight multimillionaires thanks to such compensation.

But unlike many of those tech companies, Mr. Ulukaya is giving his employees a piece of the company after its value is firmly established.

“It’s very uncommon and rare, especially in this industry, for these kinds of programs to be rolled out,” said Jessica Kennedy, a principal at Mercer, the large human resources consulting firm that worked with Chobani on the new program.

Employees at Chobani’s plant in New Berlin in upstate New York. The company was valued at $3 billion two years ago, which would make the average payout $150,000 in the event of a sale. Credit Alexandra Hootnick for The New York Times
Mr. Ulukaya has played a hands-on role in the company since 2005, when he bought a defunct Kraft yogurt plant here with an $800,000 loan from the Small Business Administration. Two years later, he began selling Greek yogurt, setting off a heated competition in what had been one of the sleepier refrigerated cases in grocery stores.

Chobani pays employees above the minimum wage and offers full-time employees health benefits and other benefits. Early on, Mr. Ulukaya established a 401(k) plan for employees and pushed them to participate.

“I preached and nagged and tried to force them to do it,” he said. “Unfortunately, not all did, and I’ve continued to worry about them in retirement.”

A few years ago, though, the company ran into financial problems after spending almost half a billion dollars to build the largest yogurt processing plant in the world, a one-million-square-foot facility in Idaho. The new plant allowed the company to expand into new products, like a children’s yogurt packed in a tube and tiny cups of dessert-like yogurts.

But the company struggled to get lines up and running smoothly, and public health officials identified mold contamination in some products.

“It was a wake-up call for us,” Mr. Ulukaya said soberly. “It made me realize that I needed to get this right, and so I’m glad it happened.”

The company had to close lines and invest in improving its food safety regimens. It also took the loan from TPG Capital to help build operations better suited to the billion-dollar business Chobani had become.

In a presentation to investors, though, TPG boasted about how it had waited until the last minute to come to Chobani’s rescue with the loan, thus allowing it to negotiate better terms in a deal that it estimated could increase the company’s value to as much as $7 billion. In addition, rumors circulated that TPG wanted to replace Mr. Ulukaya with a new chief executive, which rankled him.

But in the last year or so, business has rebounded, thanks in large part to new products made at the Idaho plant.

Mr. Ulukaya will still own the vast majority of the company, though his portion will be diluted as well. He said that giving his employees a stake in the company’s success was among the terms he demanded when the deal with TPG was struck.

“To me, there are two kinds of people in this world,” he said on Tuesday. “The people who work at Chobani and the people who don’t.”

Bron: klik hier

10 simple things the CEO can do to create a happy workplace

Blog van Alexander Kjerulf, april 2015. Kjerulf is founder van Woohoo inc en een van werelds vooraanstaande thought leaders over happiness at work. Kjerulf schreef de internationale bestseller “Happy hour is 9 tot 5′.

happy-org-chart10 simple things the CEO can do to create a happy workplace

Happiness at work starts from the top. This is one of the fundamental truths of happy workplaces.

In any organization where people consistently love to work, you will find a CEO and executive leadership team that places employee happiness among their top strategic priorities and act accordingly.

One of our favorite examples of a CEO who truly gets this is Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines (since retired), who put it like this:

When I started out, business school professors liked to pose a conundrum: Which do you put first, your employees, your customers, or your shareholders? As if that were an unanswerable question.

My answer was very easy: You put your employees first. If you truly treat your employees that way, they will treat your customers well, your customers will come back, and that’s what makes your shareholders happy.

So there is no constituency at war with any other constituency. Ultimately, it’s shareholder value that you’re producing.

If, on the other hand, you have top brass who don’t give a damn about anything but the bottom line and their own bonuses and stock options, I can flat-out guarantee that you will create an organization with very little happiness but with a lot of fear, stress and frustration. And, ironically, with poor bottom line results.

So top executives MUST make employee happiness one of their most important goal. Both because it’s the right thing to do for the sake of their people, but also because it will actually make the company more successful. Studies consistently show that happy workplaces make more money.

But how does a CEO or top executive practice this on a daily basis? What can they do to make their organization happier?

Here are 10 great real-life examples that we’ve seen work really well in workplaces around the world.

10: Regular lunches with employees

During a speech in Istanbul, I met an executive of a huge Turkish organization who has had a monthly lunch with 10 randomly picked employees for years now. Every month 10 employees get a chance to have a nice lunch and over the course of a couple of hours get to ask any question they want and air any concerns or complaints.

They also get a chance to meet him in an informal setting and get a sense of who he is as a person.

9: Random acts of workplace kindness

Some CEOs enjoy doing little random things to surprise and delight their staff. Here’s an example from Medis, one of our clients in Iceland, where the CEO decided to make fresh pancakes and waffles for anyone passing by.

He even had a great time himself:

I thoroughly enjoyed it – the biggest joy I actually got out of observing the reaction of the colleagues !

FYI we did not announce anything but simply showed up in the corridor without notice and took people pleasantly by surprise.

8: Celebrate accomplishments

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority is a government agency whose 200 employees work to enforce consumer regulations and keep markets competitive.

Every month they have a breakfast meeting where important information is shared with all employees. At this meeting, the director Agnete always shares 2-3 successes that the organization has had since the last meeting. She’ll highlight how they’ve completed a big project or won a court case and make sure that the people who worked on that are recognized and celebrated.

7: Encourage bad news

One CEO we know had a strong desire to receive all bad news as soon as possible. He knew bad things happened (they do in all workplaces) but he also knew that some employees were to afraid of reprisals to come out and directly say that they might miss a deadline or have to disappoint a client.

So he has trained himself and his managers to always receive bad news with a smile and a phrase like “Thank you for telling me that.” This took some practice.

That way bad news come out early and can be dealt with before it turns into a disaster.

6: Meet with new employees

One fast-growing company of ours has a tradition where the CEO hosts a monthly afternoon tea at his home for all new hires that month.

It’s a completely informal gathering that serves two functions: He gets to meet all the new people and get a sense of who they are and he takes some time to talk about the company’s history and vision which is a powerful way to show the new hires the values and purpose of the organization.

5: Solve problems

South African social media agency Quirk has a process in place that encourages employees to bring about any problems they see to the attention of the executive team. The process gives all employees a voice and guarantees action from the executives in two weeks at the most.

You can read about their process here.

4: Encourage critical questions

The former CEO of a big global logistics company had annual road shows where he went around the world to present their annual strategy to the company’s locations.

He wanted to show the attendees that they could ask him anything, so he introduced an award for “most critical question.” The award was a little cow statue to show that the company had no “holy cows” – any question was fair, no matter how critical.

3: Say good morning

Carsten and Karsten, two sales managers at Danish company Solar, wanted to do something nice for their employees.

Early one Monday morning, they stood at the entrance and greeted every employee with a cheerful “good morning” and a breakfast they could take to their desks.

2: Celebrate mistakes

In one company, the CEO was told by a trembling employee, that the company website was down. This was a big deal – this company made most of its sales online, and downtime cost them thousands of dollars an hour.

The CEO asked what had happened, and was told that John in IT had bungled a system backup, and caused the problem. “Well, then,” says the CEO “Let’s go see John!”

When the CEO walked into the IT department everyone went quiet. They had a pretty good idea what wass coming, and were sure it wouldn’t be pretty.

The CEO walks up to John’s desk and asks “You John?”

“Yes” he says meekly.

“John, ” says the CEO, “I want to thank you for finding this weakness in our system. Thanks to your actions, we can now learn from this, and fix the system, so something like this can’t happen in the future. Good work!”

Then he left a visibly baffled John and an astounded IT department. That particular mistake never happened again.

In many workplaces,  employees who do good work are rarely recognized but anyone who makes a mistake is immediately and harshly punished. This is dumb.

When we can openly admit to screwing up without fear of reprisals, we’re more likely to fess up and learn from our mistakes. And that’s why top executives should help employees celebrate mistakes.

As an example, IT company Menlo Innovations in Michigan has this banner hanging in their office:

Make mistakes faster

1: Walk the halls and meet people

One day, the IKEA store in Gentofte, Denmark was a hive of activity. Not only was there a European executive meeting taking place, but the company founder, Ingvar Kamprad himself, was in the house. That’ll make most employees straighten up and put in a little extra effort.

The execs wrapped up at 6 in the evening and Ingvar then took a stroll through the entire store as if this was the most natural thing in the world, kindly greeting each and every employee. He encountered two female employees talking to each other and approached them with a smile and the words: “And what are you two lovely ladies talking about?” – following up with big hugs for both of them.

I love this because it shows a genuine interest in the employees and because Kamprad is clearly happy himself and not afraid to show it.

We know from psychological studies that emotions are contagious and top leaders can spread a lot of happiness simply by being happy themselves.

The point

This list is by no means exhaustive and it’s definitely not meant to be prescriptive. We’re not saying all executives should do these things.

What we are saying is that top executives play a huge role in creating happy workplaces. They do this in the big stuff – by making sure that the strategies, plans, goals and values they set for the organization are defined with the employees’ well-being in mind.

But they also do it in small, daily, interpersonal ways where they can show that they genuinely care about their people, can build relationships with employees and can let employees see them as real human beings.

However, this can only work under a few conditions:

  1. It must flow from a genuine care for the employees. If the CEO doesn’t honestly care about her employees, she shouldn’t try to fake it. But I’ve always said that if you don’t care about people, you have no business leading them.
  2. Executives must WANT to do things to make employees happier. It’s OK to go a little outside of your comfort zone but if you do things you actively hate, that fact will shine through and it probably won’t work.
  3. Actions must match words. You can’t on the one hand make pancakes or hug employees and on the other hand introduce large-scale organizational changes with no regard for how employees feel. They will see right through that.
  4. Consistency over the long term is mandatory. If you do this for a short while or only do it some of the time, it will be recognized as fake.

Understanding this and acting on it gives the executives in a workplace huge leverage to make their employees feel valued professionally and personally – thus increasing happiness, engagement and motivation as well as productivity.

Not doing this – and let’s face facts, most executives don’t – means failing your employees, your customers and your investors.

Your take

Do you think executives should care about the happiness of their employees? Do the executives in your workplace honestly care about their people? How do they show it / not show it?

Bron: klik hier